What are the Types of Urban Development Planning?

Urban development planning entails the design of city areas to meet the economic, social, environmental, lifestyle, security, recreational, and health needs of a particular community within a specific geographical area. It most often forms part of a larger plan within a framework for developing the area.

Planning must take existing infrastructure, vegetation, movement, and economic activity into consideration. Several types can be distinguished, of which some are discussed below. However, many of these tend to overlap. As such, an overarching plan is usually in place and these fit within that plan.

Strategic Plan

The goal is to create a long-term and overarching plan. This can be seen as the bigger picture plan for organised growth of the city area. The strategic plan is often referred to as the development plan. It comprises the main strategy that sets goals for developing infrastructure, transportation, housing, and more. It focuses on the high-end goals and forms the framework in which the rest of the urban development planning takes place.

Land Use

Land use planning often forms part of the larger spatial planning policy of the government and provincial authorities. It comprises the policies, regulations and adoption of codes and rules that govern land use. Instruments for this apply to the location, the type of use, and the land space needed for the various operations or activities in the city landscape.

As part of land use planning, zones are created to allocate land for specific purposes, such as residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal. Residential makes provision for housing while commercial allows for office and retail usage. Industrial allows for warehouses, light industrial and heavy manufacturing activities. The municipal zoned areas make provisions for land use such as courts and law enforcement, fire safety, libraries, etc.

Each of these broader zones has sub-categories. An area might be zoned for industrial land use, but only for light industrial. The same applies to the types of residences and density of buildings on residential properties.

Master Plan

This type of planning is normally for undeveloped pieces of land. There is no infrastructure to work with and the development takes place on a blank canvas. This type starts with a vision for how the area will look in future and plans must be aligned to meet the vision framework requirements to achieve the set goals.

For this type, the planners have to consider the current zoning of the land and how this land must be zoned to allow for the proposed land use. It might be zoned as agricultural or residential at present, but the master plan has it for industrial use in future. To make this possible, the land must be zoned for particular industrial use.

In this type of planning, provision must be made for the development of road infrastructure, drainage, location of various facilities, and more – especially if an entire suburb is planned for the area. For this, consultation with stakeholders, the communities affected by the urban development and investors is crucial. Much research goes into this type of planning and several professionals are involved, including urban planners, architects, environmental consultants, engineers, surveyors, and more.

Revitalisation or Renewal Planning

Renewal planning involves planning for redeveloping and upgrading existing infrastructure and buildings in an urban area. It focuses on giving new life to areas that are in disrepair. Former residents might have moved to the newer suburbs surrounding the city, leaving the inner city to be infiltrated by criminals. The once new buildings might have been taken over by slum lords and the area might have suffered urban decay. To make it functional and inviting for businesses, urban planners and relevant stakeholders work together on plans for renewal.

This includes identifying the main causes for the decline and planning solutions to those issues. It also entails plans to reduce pollution, repair roads, add traffic control, and restore buildings. Once again, consultation with the affected communities and investors is crucial to the success of this kind of development.

Other Types of Urban Development Planning

These are only a few of the urban development planning categories available. Others include economic, infrastructure, and environmental planning. Proper research, consultation with the relevant communities and stakeholders, and partnering with experienced town planning professionals are crucial for urban development success.

Read more about the services offered by The Practice Group and reach out for expert consultation and assistance with your city planning needs.